"Nate Bargatze wants you to know that 'it could be better.'"

By Jason Tanamor

One of my favorite things to do is check out comedians. It was a nice surprise when I came across an up-and-comer named Nate Bargatze. Although Bargatze isn’t well known commercially, the comedian has definitely made his mark on the stand-up circuit.

He recently stopped by to chat with Zoiks! Online.

Q – How long have you been doing stand-up?

A - A little over 6 1/2 years.

Q – Your father was a magician. Why didn’t you go into magic?

A - It is a lot of work and practice. I didn’t want to take the time to learn the tricks. So I just went the route of telling jokes instead of learning tricks and jokes.

Q – You’re fairly new to the comedy world but have had some TV success. How do you go about capitalizing these TV performances into bigger and better things?

A - I hope to turn them into more late night appearances. It was good to have the Conan people show interest in me and try to keep that relationship going. If you can consistently stay on TV you will keep working even if it is just the clubs.

Q – Your major TV spot was on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” Years ago, when there was only “The Tonight Show” and no Internet or cable, this was the way to get big. What did the Conan performance do for you?

A - Conan helped me with getting into some clubs and getting some fans but nothing too crazy. It is not like the old days where there were three channels so I am just happy to have the relationship with them. When I went to do my first appearance I got out of the car to walk inside and there were people standing to get autographs. Right when I was getting out I saw them come to the car and then watch the disappointment in their faces as I got out. I knew I had a long way to go.

Q – Do you think with late night shows, cable, and Internet, the market is over saturated with avenues for entertainers to get noticed?

A - It is tough to get noticed but you at least have a chance to try and get noticed. There is a lot of entertainment out there and that is why you have to make very original videos. I think it can be hard with regular people to get them to notice you but industry wise they know the difference between great jokes and a guy who can fart on cue. I at least hope so.

Q – How do you separate yourself from every other comedian trying to make it?

A - Original voice. Material is very important but I think you have to have a reason people want to like you and hear from you.

Q – You are a part of a podcast called, “It could be better.” Tell me the back story behind this?

A - I and Yannis Pappas do a lot together. And so we decided to do a podcast named ‘it could be better.’ The reason we named it that was because that way no one can say it sucks. We are admitting that before you can. And we have Chris Laker on the show and he wasn’t originally supposed to be on it but just happened to come over to Yannis’s house when we were doing it. And now I think he is listener’s favorite.

Q – When do you put this on and what is it you want to accomplish from it?

A - It comes out every Sunday on iTunes and you can also go to itcouldbebetter.org. I hope to get fans and make into something people really follow. It is a great outlet from just doing stand up.

Q – How do you decide what to put on your podcast?

A - We will put anything we find interesting on it. We don’t want to just interview comedians because there are already podcasts that are great that do that like ‘In the tank with Jon Fisch.’ So we are interviewing people with regular to crazy jobs. We want people to want to hear us and look forward to it coming out. We also will have shows with just us three that are very entertaining. We all have very different backgrounds that turn into some funny differences.

Q – Some of the guests you have on your podcast are investigative journalist Nir Rosen and MMA fighter, Bryan Vetell. How do you decide on your guests and how do you go about booking them?

A - Yannis was friends with all the guests except Bryan Vetell. Yannis is from New York so that helps out a lot. With Bryan I am taking MMA classes and he teaches it so I got him to do it. If we can find an interesting person then we want them.

Q – So, are you a podcaster or comedian first?

A - Comedian but I do love doing the podcast and look forward to continuing it.

Q – Anything you wanted to add?

A - The ‘It could be better’ podcast crew is doing a show at Comix in NYC on November 24th at 9:30 PM EST. Get tickets here for the show. And make sure to go to iTunes and subscribe to “It could be better.”


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.

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